A Splendid Week at Sea!

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Cruise Highlights

Day 1: Fethiye Harbour - Gemiler Island

Everyone arrived by 2PM and we were quickly on our way out of Fethiye Harbour. The weather was a bit windy, so conditions were a bit rough at times, but the 3 hour trip to Gemiler was relatively unevenful as everyone got to know each other.

We anchored amidst the pirate boats at Gemiler Island and everyone enjoyed their first swim of the cruise.

Rest and relaxation were the order of the day as the daily boats vacated the area and temperatures started to drop. The group elected to explore the historic island, returning to the boat just before sunset. Forunately, Captain Oktay had turned on the air conditioners so we could shower and change from our sweaty hiking gear before dinner.

Chef Ozan prepared a table full of mezes and Captain Oktay cooked sea bream on the barbeque for our first night's dinner.

map of day 1 of the cruise route

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Day 2: Gemiler Island - Firnaz Bay near Kalkan - Bayındır Bay near Kaş

The crew awoke at 5AM and the boat was underway shortly thereafter for the long, open water crossing to Kalkan. The first stretch was quite rough, but seas calmed for the second half of the journey. Breakfast was served as we dropped anchor in Firnoz Bay near Kalkan.

Everyone enjoyed some time in the gorgeous turquoise water while the crew cleaned up after breakfast, and then we were on our way again, heading east towards Kaş.

This leg of the cruise was only about 2 hours long, and we soon anchored in Bayındır Bay across from the upscale resort town of Kaş. After lunch and swim time, a water taxi collected us and took us into town for sightseeing, shopping, and ice cream.

The return water taxi ride was "a bit" rougher than the the first journey, and waves bobbed us up and down as we made our way back to the boat.

Pre-dinner drinks were awaiting us when we returned to Arkadaslik, followed by a fabulous dinner of Adana kebabs and all the fixings. Music from the festival being held in Kaş could be heard across the water, but it was a generally peaceful evening filled with laughter and good conversation.

map of day 2 of the cruise route

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Day 3: Bayindır Bay - Furunoz Bay - Ottoman Bay in the Gökkaya Region

We enjoyed a relaxed start to the day day - coffee, swimming, watching a small boat wrestle with its anchor, and eating breakfast - before picking up our own anchor and continuing our eastward journey.

Captain Oktay steered the boat towards the south side of Kekova Island, mooring in a picturesque anchorage called Furunoz Bay. Poor Chef Ozan was distraught because there was no wifi access, but everyone else happily coped with a brief disconnect from the outside world. Swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking were popular here.

Late in the afternoon, we lifted anchor and made our way to the Gökkaya region, mooring in a small cove we've nicknamed "Ottoman Bay". The area was busy, and a small group of people were celebrating on the boat next to us, but it didn't impact our enjoyment of the beautiful spot. Doug and Debbie wowwed us with their paddleboard skills!

Dinner tonight was barbequed steak, with cheesy mashed potatoes and a variety of deliclous mezes.

map of day 3 of the cruise route

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Day 4: Ottoman Bay - Demre - Üçağız - Simena

After a leisurely breakfast, we lifted anchor and headed to Demre harbour. Debbie, Doug, and Rob opted for an excursion to Myra and the St. Nicholas Church, Keith and Carol stayed at the boat, kayaking the length of the sandy beach while stalking sea turtles.

Lunch was served after everyone returned to the boat and we headed to Üçağız, passing over the Sunken City of Kekova on our way to fill the boat's freshwater tanks with water. The heat in the tiny settlement was oppressive, so we left once the tanks were full, heading to the nearby castle village of Simena.

Captain Oktay anchored at the base of the castle and we ventured out to explore the castle before dinner. The views were amazing! We rewarded ourselves for the climb with home made ice cream before returning to the boat for showers and dinner.

There's something magic about sitting in full view of an ancient castle, enjoying barbequed chicken dinner and after-dinner drinks, and good conversation. And that's how we spent the evening.

map of day 4 of the cruise route

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Day 5: Simena - Aquarium Bay - Five Islands - Kastellorizo

Windy conditions were predicted for later in the day, so Captain Oktay headed out of the Kekova region around 8AM. The sea conditions were milder than predicted, but there was still some swell, so breakfast was delayed until we anchored at Aquarium Bay. The small bay features a tiny canyon and beach, plus incredibly clear water for which it is named.

After a few hours enjoying the peaceful bay, we lifted anchor and made our way to the five small rocky outcroppings between Kaş harbour and the Greek Island of Kastellorizo. The scuba schools operating out of Kaş frequent this area because the water is so clear! We will enjoy lunch and an afternoon of sunshine on the border between two countries.

As the afternoon wound down, we lifted anchor and made our way into the quintessentially Greek harbour at Kastellorizo. There was some initial confusion over entry formalities, but we were eventually cleared to explore the island at our leisure. The entire group (crew included) ate a fabulous meal at Alexandra's restaurant on the harbour front, where a massive sea turtle swam just inches away from the table.

map of day 5 of the cruise route

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Day 6: Kastellorizo - Kalkan - Firnoz Bay

Sue, Carol, Keith, and Doug were up early to hike to the monastery at the top of the island before the day grew too hot. Mission accomplished! The view was worth every one of the 401 steps up (and then back down) the steep mountain side. Debbie and Rob explored the harbour side at the same time, and we all joined up for breakfast afterwards.

Once the breakfast table was cleared, we lifted anchor and made our way along the coast, slowing to see some underwater mountains with their peaks just below the surface of the water, and eventually anchoring just outside Kalkan harbour. Everyone popped into town for an hour or so of sightseeing and shopping, before returning to the boat for lunch.

We made our way across the bay and spent the remainder of the day anchored at Firnoz Bay, perfectly positioned for the long leg on Day 7 of this trip.

Dinner this evening was meat balls - barbequed to perfection by Captain Oktay.

map of day 6 of the cruise route

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Day 7: Firnoz Bay - Ölüdeniz - Gemiler Island

The penultimate day of the cruise was busy!

  • Not only did we made the incredibly smooth, but long journey from Kalkan to Ölüdeniz (with a quick sail-by at Butterfly Valley), but Debbie, Doug, Keith, and Carol leapt from the top of Mount Babadağ and paraglided safely to the beach below! Rob and Sue went along for moral support.
  • Rob and Keith dove / jumped off a big rock near the boat.
  • After lunch, we made our way to Gemiler Island for a final afternoon and evening of chilling out and enjoying the water.
  • We enjoyed a last dinner together - featuring sea bream, calamari, and barbequed shrimp, plus a variety of mezes whipped up by Chef Ozan.
map of day 7 of the cruise route

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Day 8: Gemiler Island - Fethiye Harbour

Our final day together was relaxed and fun. We made our way to Fethiye harbour after breakfast at Gemiler, hugging the coast to see some interesting sites like Af Kule and a private teleferik along the way.

Back in the harbour, we said our goodbyes as our friends departed to various places - Rob to his home in Fethiye, Debbie and Doug to their next adventure in Bodrum, and Carol and Keith to the airport for a flight back to Canada. It's always sad saying goodbye to our guests - and particularly difficult after week of fun and adventure together.

map of day 8 of the cruise route

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Debbie, Doug, Carol, Keith, and Rob,

We love it when a group of strangers comes together for a week and part as friends. You certainly made that happen. Thank you for a wonderful week!

Lots of love from all of us, to all of you!

Sue, Captain Oktay, and "the boys"